Halloween has come a long way from its traditional Celtic roots, wherein people would carve Jack-o’-lanterns (traditionally turnips, as pumpkins are a New World plant) to try to scare away demons. One of those changes is the Halloween costume: at one time, costumes were crude and were literally intended to scare, whether scaring (or confusing) the devil, other children, or adults. Nowadays, Halloween costumes are more about celebrating something, usually a fictional character. Expect to see plenty of little Elsas, Captain Americas, and Ninja Turtles shouting “trick or treat!” at your door this year.
What’s more, every year people dress up as celebrities for Halloween. Usually it’s adults — another change from the more traditional Halloween custom of only children dressing up. But the odd child will dress as a celebrity as well. And of course, adults have different reasons for dressing up than children do. We don’t go door-to-door for candy, of course, but we do go to parties in costume, or accompany our children while cosplaying, or cosplay strictly for the fun of dressing up. And while adult costumes run the gamut, plenty enjoy dressing as celebrities.
Here are five of the most popular celebrity-based Halloween costumes this year.
No. 5: Donald Trump
For decades now, the president — whoever he is — has inspired Halloween costumes. Donald Trump, for his part, tends to invite cosplay, whether through flattery or mockery. His characteristic long tie, tanned skin, and mop of hair are easy to replicate.
No. 4: Miley Cyrus
The key to cosplaying as a living person is rather simple. First, you need a celebrity whose bold style and penchant for the public eye invites criticism or flattery. Then, you take characteristics of their look and persona and amplify them for effect. Miley Cyrus hits all of these notes when it comes to being a celebrity who invites cosplay.
No. 3: Tom Hanks (as David S. Pumpkins)
Tom Hanks will be remembered in the annals of film history for his signature roles in Forrest Gump, Saving Private Ryan, The Green Mile, and dozens of other serious works. He’ll also be remembered for his one-off role as David S. Pumpkins in a goofy 2016 Saturday Night Live sketch. All you need for the role is a nonsensical suit and some hand gestures. Any questions?
No. 2: Dog The Bounty Hunter (And His Team)
All you really need to pull off the Dog The Bounty Hunter look is some black leather, a rockin’ mullet, and the hang loose hand gesture. Suddenly you’re a pop culture icon. Bonus points if you have friends who can cosplay as his team along with you.
No. 1: Lady Gaga
If you need a celebrity to imitate for Halloween, you can’t go wrong with one who is known as much for their elaborate costumes and persona as they are for their act. Before she became the toned-down, girl-next-door Lady Gaga of A Star Is Born, she was the Lady Gaga we originally came to know and love.